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Recruiting VBS Volunteers

Sometimes, despite all our best efforts and most sincere prayers, the team roster doesn’t come together as quickly as we had hoped. Try these steps to complete your team!

Ask for help

The best leaders know when to call for backup. Ask other team members to recruit. Invitations from workers in the trenches can have significant appeal and effectiveness. Also, appeal to your Pastoral staff, Children’s Minister, Youth Director, and other ministry heads for their personal recommendations. Announce VBS dates early so potential team members can plan their schedules accordingly. Remind the congregation that VBS is one of the biggest, most successful community outreach opportunities, and it needs everyone’s support!

Name your need

Sometimes people don’t volunteer because they don’t know what is needed. Give names to the roles you need to fill, then provide a brief description of what each one entails.

Invite face-to-face

Announcements and promotions are great for casting vision, but they don’t get volunteers. Personal invitations do. Keep announcing your volunteer needs, but also invite leads personally.

Explore options

Just like the disciples in John 21, you may be doing what you’ve always done. Take Jesus’ advice and see what happens when you simply explore other options. Are there ministries you’ve overlooked, age groups you’ve failed to include, or core teams that might be willing to volunteer together? Consider asking leaders from previous years’ VBS, current and former Sunday school teachers, college students home for the summer, or teachers with flexible summer schedules

Build relationships

Get to know your volunteers personally, manage them with respect, provide constructive feedback, and give everyone a rewarding experience. As future opportunities arise, they’ll be more likely to say yes to you and work alongside their new friends!

Show gratitude

Volunteering can be thankless work; don’t let it happen to your volunteers! Put structures in place that will support and appreciate them before, during, and after VBS.

Helpers You May Need

Not everyone can commit to VBS leadership roles, but they may still be able to help! Ask them to help by:

  • Taking photographs

  • Preparing food

  • Providing security

  • Assisting participants with special needs

  • Collecting supplies

  • Making sample crafts

  • Completing the “Preparation” portions of craft projects

  • Helping at your decorating party

  • Working with the publicity team

  • Donating a meal or snacks for your volunteer team and leaders

  • Being a prayer partner

  • Donating supplies

  • Addressing invitation postcards and other mail